In my first tutorial on Photoshopping sparkling gold text, I used only layer styles to make the text look gold. I promised to churn out another tutorial on the same effect, but twice as realistic and awesome. So here we are. Without further ado let’s get to work.
I started with a document of 750 x 500 pixel RGB document with a resolution of 150 px and a white background.
I created some text using the font ‘Times New Roman’ at the size of 100 points. The color of the text does not matter.
Click on the text layer thumbnail to make a selection of the text area.
When you have ‘running ants’ selection around your text area, turn off the text layer visibility by clicking off the eye icon next to the layer.
Make a new layer on top of the text layer.
Now let’s fill the selection by using a gradient. I am going to use the Gold gradient that I created in my previous gold text tutorial. Since all the relevant details are explained in that tutorial, I’m not going to delve on creating the gradient.
Now we fill the selected text area with the gold gradient we have. Click on the gradient tool and select the gold gradient. Also don’t forget to check that you’re using the Linear gradient and not anything else.
Now place the Gradient tool crosshair on top of the canvas and drag to the bottom of the canvas while pressing the Shift key. Since we had a selection of the text area on, the gradient will fill only the selection.
Now comes the fun part. What we’ll be using is the Channels!
Since you did not deselect, the selection will be still active.
Go to the Channels palette. As we’re working on an RGB document, you will have four layer like things on the Channels palette, all which are selected. (I won’t go explaining about the channels or there workings today. But I’m planning to come up with a tutorial on channels in future).
With the selection active, press the ‘Save selection as channel’ button. Once you do that, you will see a new channel at the bottom of the channels stack. This will be automatically named as Alpha 1.
If you click on the Alpha 1 channel, visibility of the other channels will be turned off, leaving you with white text on a black background.
Since your selection is active, you will see the running ants. Without deselecting, go to Edit » Stroke. Make a stroke of 3 px with the colour as Gray. Select the location as Inside. Leave the rest of the settings as they are and hit OK. Now you will have something like this.
With your selection active, go to Filter » Blur » Gaussian blur. Type a radius of 4.0 pixels and hit OK.
Next press Ctrl + D to deselect and apply a Gaussian blur again, this time with a radius of 1 pixel. Now the text will look blurred.
Click on the RGB channel and the Alpha 1 channel visibility will be turned off automatically. As you can see nothing has changed. You may even wonder why go through the trouble of creating an extra channel. More fun is yet to come!
Go back to Layers panel and click on the top most layer on the layer stack to ensure that you are back on the RGB channel. Now go to Filter » Render » Lighting Effects. Now you’ll be presented with a dialog box with numerous controls.
Adjust the controls according to the above diagram. You will see why we created the new channel here. Select the Alpha 1 as the Texture Channel and press OK. Now you will see that we have a very realistic looking gold text. Doesn’t that look amazing?
You can position the spot light to suit your taste by dragging the center point. By adjusting the four handles around the spotlight, you can adjust how the light falls on the text. You can also place multiple spotlights. As I always say experiment and see what appeals to your eye.
Since everything is completed, you can stop here. Or you can some add more effects for a juicier look. Since I chose to do more for your benefit, let’s go to the original text layer, make it visible and apply some layer effects. I’m not going to delve long on this and provide you with screen shots since it will make this tut loooooong. But I will tell you what I applied.
Drop shadow : with default settings
Outer Glow : Blend mode – Hard light, Opacity – 16%, Color of the glow – F0CC4E, Spread – 7%, Size – 70 px, Range – 100%
Stroke : Size – 1 px, Position – Outside, Color – Black, Opacity – 14%
The reason that we’re not applying this effect to the Original gold text is that, with the Lighting effects applied, it may have unexpected and ugly effects. Therefore, to be on the safe side, apply the effects to the text layer.
Note: If you have gone through my previous tuts, you may have noted that I always apply a small stroke around the text. This small stroke can make a huge difference by making the object of focus to stand out from the back ground. You can compare the images on step 7 and step 8 to discern my point.
Fill your background with an appropriate color to make the text stand out. I used a dark green with a hint of grey in a circular gradient and added some noise to it for texture. And here’s what we have. A very realistic looking gold text with an eerie glow!
Compared to the previous method, you will see that the gold finish created by this method is more realistic. There are amazing things you can do with Channels. With proper manipulation, you can create realistic silver, chrome, bronze and many more effects. The key to success is experimenting. With that, the possibilities are endless.
I hope this tutorial helped you to learn something new. I will come up with another tutorial, which I am yet to decide on. As always, your comments are very welcome as they keep me motivated. Until next time, Ciao!